Schiphol has to keep growing despite protests, Minister says

Schiphol airport, 29 Sept 2018
Schiphol airport, 29 Sept 2018. (Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times )

Schiphol will continue to grow after 2020, despite protests from local residents and environmental organizations, according to Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management. The Amsterdam airport has to keep growing in order to keep its competitive position with other airline hubs in Europe, she said in an interview with the Volkskrant. 

Schiphol is capped at 500 flight movements per year until 2020. That limit has already been reached. Discussions between Schiphol, local residents, governments and environmental organizations stalled at the end of January. Schiphol wants to grow to 540 thousand takeoffs and landings per year. Local residents want to freeze the growth at 500 thousand flight movements until at least 2023.

"I don't think you can say that is forever, the 500 thousand flights", Van Nieuwenhuizen said to the newspaper. The fact that this flight limit has already been reached makes further growth inevitable, she believes. 

The Minister is currently trying to find a balance between the aviation sector and the protesting residents. "It will not be an unbridled growth, like: just fly. That can not be allowed", she stressed.

Matt Poelmans of the local residents' group Bewoners Omgewing Schiphol is surprised by the Minister's statements, he said to the Volkskrant."Last week we still had a talk with the Minister and now she already chose a side", he said. 

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